The Right Degree Program, The Right Environment
Indonesian Engineering Student Meets Educational Goals at CU Denver
BS, Mechanical Engineering
Why did you want to enroll in enroll in the University of Colorado Denver and how did you hear about us?
I came to the U.S.A. to broaden my experiences as well as advance my educational goals. I came to Colorado after earning my associate’s degree at Green River Community College in Washington. I didn’t know much about Colorado before coming here; my older brother helped me, he actually earned his degree and is working in Australia. I wanted the option to focus on refrigeration within my mechanical engineering major.
I found a very good Refrigeration program in Alaska (go figure), but being from Indonesia, Alaska was a cold place that I could not yet comprehend and I had no desire to understand. I also looked at schools in Arizona and Michigan. Michigan would also have long, cold winters and Arizona can be the other extreme.
While I wasn’t sure of Colorado’s weather and I still didn’t know what to expect, it sounded like it would be a good blend of all seasons. It had the program focus I wanted and would be a new experience for me in a new city. Two years is good enough to experience a city, unless I plan to settle there; I prefer to experience and see as much of the world as possible.
What degree program are you pursuing at the University of Colorado Denver? What interests you about this subject area?
Mechanical Engineering, specifically engineering principles connected to refrigeration. My father owns a HVAC company but I’m not necessarily doing it to take over running the business anytime soon. I hopefully plan to work either in the U.S. or elsewhere for several years before thinking of moving back to Indonesia for my career. I am very fortunate that my parents are supportive of this.
What advantages are you finding in receiving an education in an urban American environment compared to other styles of campuses in the US and your home? Why do you think it’s important to have a global education and a better understanding of another country?
It seems like there is really good opportunity for internships, so I think that is an advantage. Diversity is greater in an urban environment and that helps to broaden my mind. Cities also have many options to experience new things.
I really think it depends on the person though, I know students who just want to focus on studying, so location is not as important, or students who want to go where there are many Indonesians so they can feel at home. But studying abroad, for me, it’s more about experiencing new things and expanding my horizons.
Being from Jakarta, Denver seems like a less congested and much more manageable city. I think this environment will help give me meaningful experiences that I can carry with me in my career.
While you have been earning your degree, what has been one of the biggest challenges and why?
When just starting a new school or new city, I think the hardest part is finding new friends or meeting with folks with my same interests or in my same program. However, so far my American roommate is great! He is originally from San Francisco but has been in Colorado awhile so he has been a good resource. Also during orientation, I made friends with a fellow international student who is from South Korea. I am learning more and more about activities on campus and around the city; so I look forward to meeting new people and having new experiences.
What cultural events and recreation do you enjoy in Denver and in Colorado?
I haven’t been here long but I would like to see the frozen lakes in the winter, although I’m not sure about the ice fishing. I imagine I will try skiing or snowboarding as well. I enjoy watching the NFL since coming to America and since coming to Denver, I am really enjoying the Denver Broncos! The city is very spirited.
What do your friends and family think about your studying in America—do you think they are proud of your accomplishments?
My mother and father were supportive of my brothers and me studying abroad. My older brother in Australia, myself here in the U.S., and this fall my younger brother is starting school in the U.K. Global education is something my parents value and I believe they are proud of me.
It’s hard to say if my close friends are proud of me, I can say we miss hanging out together but we understand how important earning an education outside your home country can be.
What advice would you give to other international students who are considering studies at the University of Colorado Denver and in the U.S.?
For me it’s been staying in touch with my parents. I think students who stay in close contact with their family or have good family support when they are abroad in the U.S. deal with the challenges that we might face. They can give us guidance, insight and solutions to problems that we may have never faced before. I feel very close to my parents, as many students do, so I do not want to disappoint them. I want to learn and grow beyond the expectations they had when I came to study in America. I want to make them proud.
I also think international students should give NFL football a chance.
Especially in Denver as this city is very passionate about the Denver Broncos. I became a big NFL fan, since coming to the U.S. I think students can learn a great deal about American culture by watching NFL on Sundays or Monday night, Americans can get pretty excited when their favorite team is on.
To learn more about International Admissions, visit online:
For information about CU Denver’s ESL Academy, visit: